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Saint Mary’s Hospital is the first in the UK to provide 24/7 consultant presence in the maternity unit

Saint Mary's Hospital recently became the first hospital in the UK to provide constant consultant presence on their maternity unit.

For many years, 24/7 consultant labour ward presence in large obstetric units has been recommended, but no hospitals had been able to provide it until now. Our aim is to provide consistency in the quality of care no matter what time of day, or day of the week a woman gives birth; to meet the needs of women requiring more complex obstetric care; to improve patient safety and to enhance women's experiences.

8.642 babies were born at Saint Mary's Hospital, Manchester, in the last year making it the largest single-site maternity unit in the UK. During the reorganisation of maternity services in Greater Manchester provision of 24/7 consultant obstetrician presence was one of the commitments made by the 'Making it Better' programme.

Sarah Vause, Clinical Director for Obstetrics at Saint Mary's said:

"We're very proud to be the first hospital in the UK to provide this level of obstetric care.

"This shift to a new way of working has required us to appoint new consultants, which in turn has meant that we have changed the amount of support we can provide in other areas of maternity. We now have more consultants assigned to our antenatal clinics and are already seeing improvements in the total package of care we offer.

"This means that women who have complicated pregnancies or labours, will have the reassurance that there will always be a specialist consultant obstetrician on our maternity unit at any time of the day, every day of the week."